Our donor, Dennis, worked most of his career in international banking for Chase Manhattan Bank. He lived all around the world, from Bulgaria to Hong Kong, spending almost a lifetime on planes – a good part of his life without a dog. As he looked forward to retirement, adopting a dog was what he dreamed of most.

When he finally did retire in Corrales, NM, he found that dog, even before his house was finished. First came a beautiful little puppy named Chaco, followed shortly by Spook. They were the joys of his very successful life.

When Dennis died in March 2015, he spent his final days at home barely able to communicate but fully able to show affection to his dog, Boomer.  Dogs were very much a part of his life; indeed when he married, his dog served as a groomsman. 

While living in Corrales, Dennis kept a regular schedule for dog walks with his neighbors and friends and loved walking his dogs along the Bosque. He kept his pockets filled with treats for them and any other dog he might encounter along the way. To folks he met on the trail, he would likely ask about their dogs before inquiring about the owners themselves.  

Our Foundation was set up by Dennis to encourage and promote mutually beneficial relationships between people and dogs.  His greatest wish was to do what he could to make sure that all dogs are given a chance to live happy lives. To him, that meant, if at all possible, that they live in a home where they are loved, where they can play, where there is no lack of food or care.  He hoped for situations where people and pets provide fulfillment of each others needs whether they are emotional, physical or both.  His greatest joy was owning dogs and he abhorred animal neglect.  We call the foundation the Dennis Friends Foundation in honor of the friendship we had with Dennis, and the friendships with our dogs.  Please explore the rest of this website to learn how we hope to fulfill his greatest wish.

Our History


Our Foundation’s history begins years ago in the heart of our donor. Without the ability to have a canine companion for the majority of his working life, Dennis’ primary goal after retirement was to enjoy the company of his animal friends. His utter devotion to his dogs, and his strong belief in the importance of  a proper animal-to-human match, resulted in the generous bequest that forms the corpus of our grant resources. It is to be used, per Dennis’ instructions, for the care and welfare of dogs, cats and horses. 

Who We Are


The Board of Trustees shares Dennis’ mission and is tasked to fulfill his wishes.  We, as charter members of this foundation, are fortunate to have known Dennis as family, friends, colleagues and of course, through our dogs. 

Board of Trustees


Sayre Gerhart, President

Deborah Lutterbeck, Vice President

Claudia Miller, Secretary

Elise Lampasi, Treasurer

Jane Cody

Lucia Deichmann

Angela Gutierrez

What Gets Funded


Dennis Friends Foundation considers a variety of grant applications from existing 501c3 organizations in good standing.  Dennis Friends Foundation funds initiatives that promote, support, and provide for the effective, loving, compassionate well-being of dogs, cats and horses.

Elsewhere on our website, the reader will find criteria for funding and answers to frequently asked questions about the grant process, along with grant application forms.